Projeto Sombra e Água Fresca (The Shade and Fresh Water Project)

The Shade and Fresh Water project is a national network of centers which provide children aged 6-14 with tutoring, nutrition, and recreation, in addition to opportunities for artistic expression and Christian education. There are currently 60 projects throughout Brazil, serving nearly 3,000 young people.

You can support Shade and Fresh Water by praying for its ongoing ministry, contributing to the Advance Special, or traveling to Brazil to renovate facilities or lead activities at one of the projects.

Access to urgent medical care is very limited in the remote villages along the Amazon River, and preventive care is virtually non-existent for most villagers. With the John Wesley Medical Boat, the Methodist Church of Brazil is combating this problem by providing direct medical assistance and training local providers to continue the work. The boat takes two medical teams into the jungle during most months between January and August, providing care to 26 villages outside the city of Manaus. The villages have a population of 29,000, with only one full-time local doctor.

You can support the medical boat by praying for its organizers and the people who receive care because of their efforts, contributing to the Advance Special, or traveling to the Amazon with a medical mission team. Doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists, and other medical professionals are always in needed, but volunteers from all backgrounds are welcome.

Ministry with young adults is at the heart of church life both in Brazil and in the United States. Over the past few years, young adults from Brazil have participated in a number of Virginia Conference events, including the Sojourn to Sacredness. In 2011, a team of Virginia young adults traveled to the city of Curitiba in southern Brazil to engage in mission work themselves and to strengthen our partnership. In 2013, a team of young adults from Curitiba visited Virginia and connected with young adult ministries across our conference, including The Well at Huntington Court UMC, Project SPY, RISE, and Connexion NOVA. The Confederation of Young Adults in Brazil has invited another Virginia team to come in 2014 to assist them with service projects and evangelism efforts at the time of the World Cup.

The vision for this partnership is to hold annual gatherings (alternating between Brazil and the US) where young adults can serve in mission together while sharing ideas and experiences regarding Christian education, small group ministry, evangelism, and more. You can support the partnership by praying for young adults in both countries, encouraging anyone aged 18-35 to be part of this summer's mission team, and inviting future teams from Brazil into your church.

The churches of Brazil and Virginia share a common commitment to glorifying God and teaching about our faith through music and the arts. This collaboration builds upon our connection with the Shade and Fresh Water projects by inviting people in our two countries to work together to create new worship and Christian education resources designed specifically for children. The collaboration has begun online via Skype and Google Drive, but we hope that it will grow to include time together in Brazil, Virginia, and perhaps other corners of God's creation.

You can support this partnership by praying for preachers, musicians, storytellers, children's ministers, and other worship leaders in Brazil and Virginia, by encouraging those people in your church to get involved in this collaboration, or by becoming part of it yourself.